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Airlines Flying Empty “Ghost” Flights During Coronavirus Outbreak to Avoid Losing Flight Spots

Airlines Flying Empty “Ghost” Flights During Coronavirus Outbreak to Avoid Losing Flight Spots

Does anyone care about the climate?!

This is bureaucracy at its finest (or worst).

With the coronavirus prompting many to stay in their own germy homes, airlines are wasting thousands of gallons of jet fuel flying empty flights in order to hold their flight slots.

Europe’s use it or lose it policy seems to be the culprit here. DOES ANY ONE CARE ABOUT THE CLIMATE?!?!

Business Insider reports:

Airlines have wasted thousands of gallons of fuel running empty “ghost” flights during the coronavirus outbreak because of European rules saying operators can lose their flight slots if they keep their planes on the ground.

Demand for flights has collapsed across the globe amid growing fears about the outbreak.

Under Europe’s rules, airlines operating out of the continent must continue to run 80% of their allocated slots or risk losing them to a competitor.

This has led to some operators flying empty planes into and out of European countries at huge costs, The Times of London reported.

On Thursday, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote to Airport Coordination Limited asking for the rules to be suspended during the outbreak to prevent further environmental and economic damage.

“I am particularly concerned that, in order to satisfy the 80/20 rule, airlines may be forced to fly aircraft at very low load factors, or even empty, in order to retain their slots,” Shapps wrote.

“Such a scenario is not acceptable. It is not in the industry’s, the passengers’ or the environment’s interest and must be avoided.”

So far, no comment from climate scold, Greta Thunberg.


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Government at its finest.

Yeah, but who’s paying for the fuel? Airlines famously operate very close to the margin so you wouldn’t think they could absorb this for long.

    McGehee in reply to maxmillion. | March 8, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Fuel, flight and cabin crew wages, wear and tear on the equipment, ground crew wages, ramp crew wages, gate crew wages…

    And being that it’s Europe, there’s also the payola.

      There’s a few bright spots in that. The aircraft can fly without any onboard passenger care crew, take on a load of discount cargo, fly the most fuel-efficient path and speed to the destination, is flying without a great deal of weight so that allows it to use less fuel, and can be used for pilot training.

      “Gee, Bob, that wasn’t too great of a landing. Let’s go around and try again.”

    OrJustThink in reply to maxmillion. | March 8, 2020 at 11:15 am

    You are. The way our gov is set-up; your tax money will go to keep the CEOs paid. Not so much the wages of the employees, but the guys on top. We wouldn’t want the top guys to have to live on 7 figures instead of the 8 they are accustomed too. Its too bad that the guy we voted into office a few years back was lying about fixing all that…

      maxmillion in reply to OrJustThink. | March 8, 2020 at 12:25 pm

      I certainly hope not. These are European airlines in Europe.

      The actual numbers say you’re a liar.

      Vince Vonheeder in reply to OrJustThink. | March 8, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Yep. Right on time: “It’s all the President’s fault”. Despite the article being about European carriers. Sure, US Flagged carriers will take a hit, as will those international businesses that are heavily invested in foreign operations. But please elucidate: How is an engineered (not certain but evidence indicate a possibility)virus with Chinese origins be due to someone who happens to live in the White House?

      The stats you are referring to and constantly referred to by the MSM are for S&P 500 size companies, the largest in the world, where the compensation data is available in SEC filings. There are millions of smaller companies where the median CEO salary is roughly 5 times the median employee wage, what you would expect for companies without many thousands of employees.

      JimWoo in reply to OrJustThink. | March 9, 2020 at 6:16 am

      Good place to start reducing the pay of the CEOs who you deem overcompensated would be in the ranks of the college administrators and government bureaucrats.

Greta Thunberg? She’s busy discussing economics, science, logic, and diplomacy skills with AOC. Basically, they are still puzzling over how, even with both of them in the same room, they are still several cards short of a full deck.

    Another Voice in reply to TX-rifraph. | March 8, 2020 at 11:59 am

    The total age between them is 47. The ability to have been educated with any expertise and/or experience that would “entitle” them the ability to discuss any one of these subjects “economics, science, logic, and diplomacy skills” with any nth of credibility is nil. They do however share and possess large egos.

The Euros should just declare it a medical holiday and shut it down for a month

Airlines will fly empty or near empty flights from city A to city B because that particular plane is needed for the Flight from City B to City C.

Airlines typically dont have 2 or 3 extra planes sitting around to take the place of the plane that never left the first leg of the route.

The extra fuel cost, labor, etc is a lot less expensive than the cost of a spare plane.

    Milhouse in reply to Joe-dallas. | March 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Yeah, but in this case the planes aren’t needed for B to C, because there are no passengers on that route either. They’re being flown only because of the government requirement to fly 80% of a full schedule.

    CaptTee in reply to Joe-dallas. | March 9, 2020 at 11:31 am

    About a decade ago, I booked a direct one-step flight from Chicago to Melbourne, FL through Atlanta. Snow in Chicago delayed the departure out of O’Hare. Since I was the only through passenger, Delta used a spare plane so the flight could depart Atlanta on time. Yes, the flight left Atlanta before it got there. Delta put me up for the night in the same hotel with their crew.

At least Greta’s parents and handlers appear to be smart enough to keep her on the sidelines for now, since this wouldn’t be exactly the correct time for her to be preaching. After all, the situation in China is exacerbated by air pollution, and you can’t lecture China.

it’s good for passengers right now, speaking as one who travels a lot

Business class upgrades at the drop of the hat, while aisles to yourself, no wait boarding times, planes pulling back 5 minutes early because everyone is onboard, extra attention from the flight attendants onboard, and flights landing early too.

Screw the climate, more of this while it lasts. Don’t reduce the schedule, so I have my pick of timeslots.

Ok, I am probably going to get COVID-19, but global travel has never been more comfortable.

Prices will probably sky rocket shortly.

    danvillemom in reply to PrincetonAl. | March 8, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    My flight to London in early April from Phoenix has 8 people in coach….will keep my fingers crossed that nobody will sit near me coughing. Safe travels to one and all.

The aircraft generally has to be at it’s destination for the allocated time. US airlines don’t necessarily cancel flights when they’re empty. Airplanes don’t magically appear out of thin air for the next leg-they appear out of thick air and kerosene….

buckeyeminuteman | March 8, 2020 at 12:50 pm

The pounds of fuel dumped by USAF tankers each year is staggering. A full KC-135 tanker goes up and the aircraft they were supposed to fuel gets its mission cancelled, so they dump. The planes are too heavy to land full.

I was one of two passengers on an Eastern Lockheed L-1011 from NY to Miami once. Excellent service, upgrade to first class, two dinners.

Heard today from a friend who has saved $500 on her and her husband’s round trip tickets to Hawaii. They are young, healthy and willing to take the risk.

Southwest Airline’s round trip tickets from San Jose to Oahu are $204 right now.

    EVEN IF you get the virus and you are not over 65 and health-compromised, you’ll not likely get any sicker than people usually get after flying and catching the usual viruses being recirculated by the aircraft ‘O2’ system. (Note to obama: no, ‘O2’ is not a Star Wars reference.)

Ever wonder what happens when beaurocrats are put in charge? Welcome to the European Union.

I once a flew a 747 on a Thanksgiving Day – had the whole plane to myself. (I STILL couldn’t find a place to lay down to sleep.)

Greta is/was way over her head on the subject of Climate.. I believe her youth just didn’t make her creditable, enough. She was pushed by her parents and their outrageous beliefs. Many paid attention to her because of her message and her means of arrival on our shores..
To prop her up as to type of expert seems like political abuse, if there is such a thing.